(Close Window)
Topic: Mastering the Bottom Deal
Message: Posted by: Cagliostro (Nov 2, 2018 05:31PM)
An open post to JFX, AMcD, Mr. Bones, Bobby Cash, Last Laugh, Tahur, StoneUnhinged, liamwilson, KardSharp89, Jason England, Taylor Haws and any other member I forgot to add who cares to comment.

It has been mentioned on this BB that it takes several years to master a deceptive bottom deal. Granted we are all have different abilities, inherent talent and skill sets...some learn manipulative moves quicker and easier than others. But for those on this BB who have mastered the bottom deal and find it sufficiently deceptive and smooth for demo purposes, here is my question:

Once you had decided to master the bottom deal, and once you have decided on the grip and technique to work on, [i]from that point on[/i] how long did it take you to master a bottom deal to a level in which you felt you had mastered it sufficiently well to deceive for demonstration purposes. In other words, happy and confident in your mastery of the bottom deal...its smoothness and deceptiveness. Yes, I know some are never completely satisfied and are always tweaking and trying new methods. But that aside...your initial mastery of the bottom deal to the point you felt you had it. Also, how much time per day or week did you devote to the practice of attaining this mastery?

I'll start it off. I learned my initial bottom deal at 14-15 years age from Erdnase, exactly as written in that book using the left ring finger push-off. That was the only bottom deal I knew so there was no confusion as to which technique to learn.

I used a bridged sized deck of Aviator playing cards, very common for magician use at that time. I worked on it about one hour per day, in between my piano practice. (I never quite understood why my parents considered piano practice more important than learning a bottom deal.) :rolleyes:

Once I perfected the bottom card push-off, which was not very difficult, it was pretty much smooth scaling from that point on. At first I dealt very fast to get the move over with, but after a short period of time I found that relaxing the grip and dealing more slowly and smoothly the deal worked much better. And...it was more deceptive.

I would say it took about two-three week to have a pretty good and deceptive bottom deal with the Erdnase grip. I then switched to poker sized Tally Ho cards and found the Erdnase bottom deal to be easier for me with poker sized cards, because of the right hand take between the left ring and middle fingers.

I then switch to the Mechanic's Grip using the technique right out of [b]Card Mastery[/b] by Mickey MacDougall, pushing the bottom card off with the left middle finger. At first the middle finger flash was too great for my liking, so I whittled it down to a slight finger motion and sometimes a squeeze. That worked great because I felt that the bottom card had to be loosened or moved to a certain degree, especially as the deck became a little worn or used.

I would say that within 6 -8 weeks I had a very smooth and deceptive bottom deal using the Mechanic's and Erdnase Grip with both poker sized and bridged sized cards. That is my experience with the move...believes what you will. If other say it took them 10 years to learn the move...or are still working on it...well...that is [i]their[/i] experience.

(Of course I will add that over the years I mastered other techniques, but quite frankly after the first mastery, other methods were very easy and took almost no time to learn.)

So...I would be interested to hear from those who feel they have mastered the bottom deal well enough for demo purposes...smooth and deceptive. Forget application under fire. That is a different world but of course most don't believe it is. :hmm:
Message: Posted by: disgruntledpuffin (Nov 2, 2018 05:42PM)
I use a strike method favoured by Artanis, McMillen etc. It took several months to get it to the point it's at now. That said, I'm 29 and I started learning various other deals at around 14. That process surely provided a foundation that smoothed the path toward the deal I do now. I'd never go as far as to say I'd mastered it, but I'm happy with it.

If anyone cares to see:
https://www.instagram.com/p/Bn24yRJB_ya/?utm_source=ig_share_sheet&igshid=1vlzvx73ysagq
Message: Posted by: Cagliostro (Nov 2, 2018 06:57PM)
@disgruntledpuffin: After several months, that is a very good demo bottom deal. It would probably be more deceptive if you turned the cards face down when dealing, but still it looks very good. :)
Message: Posted by: Last Laugh (Nov 2, 2018 08:15PM)
I don't at all claim mastery, but:
I'd been noodling about with a few grips and had a very sloppy bottom with massive knuckle flash. After getting some good advice in this forum and repeated watching of Jason Englands bottom deal video, I settled on a mechanics grip with a squeeze out motion. That was the beginning of September. I now have a bottom that I use in performance which I feel is passable. On average, I've been spending 30 mins to an hour a day, most days since then.

It might be worth noting that I am also a life long musician.
Message: Posted by: Bobbycash (Nov 2, 2018 09:14PM)
Cag,
One of the first books I got that really got me into learning about gambling moves was Gazzo and Britlands release of Phantoms. I got this book when I was say 13 or 14 years old. In it there is a bottom which I tend to go back to every year or so. To learn that bottom deal to a level where I could use it in a magic trick or demo was probably 9 months. Since the I’ve played with many bottom deals, with my main bottom grip deal being a mechanics grip using the loosening action described in “Fast Company”. It might be that I’ve gone down a rabbit hole and I’m just not satisfied with it being good enough, but I definitely haven’t mastered it yet.
Message: Posted by: Cagliostro (Nov 2, 2018 09:58PM)
[quote]On Nov 2, 2018, Last Laugh wrote:

After getting some good advice in this forum and repeated watching of Jason Englands bottom deal video, I settled on a mechanics grip with a squeeze out motion. That was the beginning of September. I now have a bottom that I use in performance which I feel is passable. On average, I've been spending 30 mins to an hour a day, most days since then.

It might be worth noting that I am also a life long musician. [/quote]

Believe it or not, being a musician and I presume playing one or more instruments is a big plus. I think playing the piano was a big plus for me. Mechanics grip with a squeeze out motion is a good technique. Couple of months with daily practice...that will work.
Message: Posted by: Cagliostro (Nov 2, 2018 10:12PM)
[quote]On Nov 2, 2018, Bobbycash wrote:

One of the first books I got that really got me into learning about gambling moves was Gazzo and Britlands release of Phantoms. I got this book when I was say 13 or 14 years old. In it there is a bottom which I tend to go back to every year or so. To learn that bottom deal to a level where I could use it in a magic trick or demo was probably 9 months. Since the I've played with many bottom deals, with my main bottom grip deal being a mechanics grip using the loosening action described in "Fast Company". It might be that I've gone down a rabbit hole and I'm just not satisfied with it being good enough, but I definitely haven't mastered it yet. [/quote]

That is one of the difficulties that people have is too many opinions. The only way to master this move is to have ONE good method, make sure you are doing it correctly and then practice, practice, practice, to the exclusion of all other bottom deals. For some that is hard to do. There is always a new shiny object to distract. But Damien Nieman's technique is pretty good from what I recall. It probably helps to watch a video of someone who is doing it correctly.

Keep on truckin'
Message: Posted by: Tahur (Nov 2, 2018 10:41PM)
Thanks for mentioning me in this post Cagliostro. It took me about four years to master the bottom deal. I practice every chance I have to perfect it and get the muscle memory in the hands and in my subconscious mind. I too started with the push off bottom deal description in the book Artifice, Ruse and Subterfuge at the Card Table by S.W. Erdnase(also known as expert at the card table). I practiced with the Erdnase grip and then realized its unnatural. I then tried the Artarnis bottom deal booklet. It helped because I remember it came with a audio file that you could listen to. He personally recorded the audio to guide along. Artarnis used a strike bottom deal if I remember correctly. I also tried Ed Marlo's cigar bottom deal on his dvd The Cardician. To make a long story short I ended coming to my conclusion and its my opinion that Richard Turners bottom deal is the best. I learned his Seesaw bottom deal from his dvd Best of the bottoms. He uses a push off deal in mechanics grip. Richard Turner has put in more practice time than anybody I know. I practiced with Bicycle cards then Bee cards now I use Aristocrat cards. Here is a link of a most recent demo https://youtu.be/mMxpKsGIe18
Just excuse some clothing in the background :) who cares. Anyway hope to hear about the rest of the folks here on the Café and their journey with the Bottom Deal.

Sincerely Tahur
Message: Posted by: Last Laugh (Nov 2, 2018 11:32PM)
[quote]On Nov 2, 2018, Cagliostro wrote:
But Damien Nieman's technique is pretty good from what I recall. It probably helps to watch a video of someone who is doing it correctly.

Keep on truckin' [/quote]


I settled on a combination of Jason England and Richard Turner ideas - index finger on the corner of the deck like Richard, downward squeeze like Jason.

Then I got a hold of Damian Nieman's video and its pretty much exactly that same combination.
Message: Posted by: liamwilson1125 (Nov 3, 2018 12:51AM)
Thanks for mentioning me Cag.

Is that really you? This thread has a different tone of voice, but it's very helpful.

Mastery of the bottom deal takes me around 20 years. I first practiced bottom deal with full grip and I took the bottom card out between middle and third finger. Full grip was the only grip I knew back then. It took me around a year to do the move smoothly. With this grip I could do strike bottom.

Same thing with original Erdnase grip. It took me more than 6 months to feel comfortable with the grip and unlocking action. Then 6 months to deal it smoothly.

After 5 years of practicing these 2 grips, I tried 1st modified Erdnase, Gene Maze, Mechanic's grip and Master Grip. Surprisingly it only took me a month to deal smoothly for each of these grips. I also tried Marnase and Dr Elliott grips and they were not successful.

Right now my go-to bottom deal grip is Mechanic's grip with unlocking action that I come up with after years of experimenting and watching many great bottom dealers. It took me around 10 years to deal both smoothly and deceptively with this particular grip.

I have practiced 1 hour daily for the first 10 years, then 3 hours daily.
Message: Posted by: Cagliostro (Nov 3, 2018 01:15AM)
[quote]On Nov 2, 2018, Tahur wrote:

...It took me about four years to master the bottom deal. I practice every chance I have to perfect it and get the muscle memory in the hands and in my subconscious mind... [/quote]

That is an extraordinary amount of time to spend mastering a bottom deal. Unfortunately, as I write this post I cannot access your YouTube video. Maybe tomorrow I will be able to do so.

But this got me to thinking. How could I master a bottom deal, believe it or not, in two months that takes someone else four years to master. While I happen to have skillful hands, I am not exceptional. I am not a prodigy or special. I'm a pretty much a regular guy. What is the difference?

Well the first is I was not swamped with multiple techniques. That is an important factor. I had basically two options. (Keep it simple stupid.) Secondly, and this is important and my post with Last Laugh turned on a light bulb for me, I was a musician. I was practicing the piano for 2-3 hours per day, every day without fail. I was used to practicing musical passages over and over and over again, with variations in touch, in emotion, in speed and tempo, with various nuance, over and over and over again - endlessly. This was normal for me as it is for any serious musician.

So that is the way I tackled the bottom deal. And while I don't want to make light of the skill necessary to master a bottom deal, it is not even close to playing Chopin or Bach or any serious musician composition. In comparison it was simple, very simple. So it was easy for me to put in 1 hour per day to master this move. And that is why I had two methods, the Erdnase and MacDougall methods down in two months.

Hopefully this is helpful. Disciple to practice makes a difference. Having a good method makes a difference. So...that is my story. Hopefully it is helpful for some.
Message: Posted by: Cagliostro (Nov 3, 2018 09:06AM)
[quote]On Nov 2, 2018, liamwilson1125 wrote:

...Mastery of the bottom deal takes me around 20 years...

...I have practiced 1 hour daily for the first 10 years, then 3 hours daily... [/quote]

Very impressive...your imagination that is.

Are you a fiction writer or have you just read too many Harry Potter books?
Message: Posted by: Cagliostro (Nov 3, 2018 09:39AM)
@Tahur: Saw your video. Actually, your actual bottom deal technique is pretty good but too slow, and your hop is a little awkward. However, I would speed up the deal if you can. A little faster and instead of placing the cards one by one on the table, I would try pitching them as you would in a game. Also, don't expose the faces of the dealt cards when dealing.

Additionally, you might want to get a better deck to work with. Can you do the deal with a non-convex deck?
Message: Posted by: cbharrelson (Nov 3, 2018 01:19PM)
I cheat in a demo bottom deaL I USE LEPAUL concept of a simplified bottom deal. For real deal I use strike and squeeze out mechanics grip.
Message: Posted by: Cagliostro (Nov 3, 2018 02:38PM)
@cbharrelson: Yes, but how long did it take you to master a deceptive and viable bottom deal?
Message: Posted by: cbharrelson (Nov 3, 2018 11:10PM)
Several years because I spent a lot of time on bad techniques. When I came across a good technique a couple of years.
Message: Posted by: JasonEngland (Nov 5, 2018 12:30PM)
Cag,

I think the confusion you're having is related to the same issue that I took with you in the thread when I said you were crazy about paper taking longer to master than a difficult sleight.

If "mastery" of paper is being able to read it under fire, in any lighting conditions, without error and with all the distractions of a major casino or high-stakes private game, then why isn't "mastery" of the bottom deal held to the same (very high) standard? You're using the same word but with two vastly different meanings.

If your original argument had been that mastering paper was harder than becoming marginally proficient with gambling moves I probably wouldn't have even said anything.

If you ever hear me refer to anyone that has "mastered" the bottom deal, I'm talking about a very select few individuals that have a good chance of being able to get one past you while you're staring at their hands. I bet you'd agree that achieving this level of skill takes a lot longer than just a few months...for anyone. There may be 2-dozen people in the world that have mastered (in this sense) the bottom deal in my opinion. There might be 100 or so that are very good at it and several hundred that do "okay" bottom deals.

Jason

PS: Something in your large post above that I do agree with: Once you've mastered one version, other variants come quickly, or at least relatively quickly. I don't know if that's a universal experience or not, but I found it applied to me with the bottom deal and continues to apply to me with many other moves.
Message: Posted by: Taylor Haws (Nov 5, 2018 01:26PM)
After almost a year of practicing the bottom deal, I do not consider myself to have mastered it at all. I think that there is a huge difference between getting down the basic mechanics of a deal and making a bottom deal smooth and deceptive.

this is a bit of a funny story. About two months into my quest to master the bottom deal, I thought I did it pretty good. whenever I did it for myself in the mirror, I didn't spot much difference between my bottom and my top. then I filmed myself bottom dealing and realized that I was terrible. I had terrible knuckle flash, the sound was obscene, and it overall simply looked like I was taking the bottom card. I was simply fooling myself while looking in the mirror. this is a mistake that I have repeated with plenty of other moves.

I consider myself to have come a long way since then, and I consider myself able to perform a somewhat decent bottom deal, but I certainly haven't mastered it.
Message: Posted by: Cagliostro (Nov 10, 2018 06:00PM)
[quote]On Nov 5, 2018, JasonEngland wrote:

Cag,

If "mastery" of paper is being able to read it under fire, in any lighting conditions, without error and with all the distractions of a major casino or high-stakes private game, then why isn't "mastery" of the bottom deal held to the same (very high) standard? [/quote]

Because they are not the same order of utility nor are we comparing like for like. One is real world accomplishment in a casino or card room environment to get the money without getting caught; the other is, at this point in time, is basically make-believe demonstration jugglery. Anyone who has ever been there and gone for the money in a meaningful way already knows this.

Further we really can't compare the learning curve for someone looking to learn a bottom deal for demo or entertainment purposes with someone looking to read top paper (and get the money) in a very tough and professional environment like a casino. It is would be naive to equate the two.

Moreover, in today's world, the use of a cut card in money games plus the additional use of cameras in all professional formats makes the bottom deal little more than an exotic flourish for magicians and demonstrators to discuss and attempt to master. Additionally, the omnipresent use of PLASTIC cards, often bridge-sized, further makes these bottom deal discussions and video demos unrealistic and not a reflection of reality since 99.9% of the time, [i]poker sized paper cards[/i] are used for these demos.

The bottom deal was never designed for use in the modern tough conditions of today and is ineffective in current formats.

[quote]If you ever hear me refer to anyone that has "mastered" the bottom deal, I'm talking about a very select few individuals that have a good chance of being able to get one past you while you're staring at their hands.
I bet you'd agree that achieving this level of skill takes a lot longer than just a few months...for anyone. There may be 2-dozen people in the world that have mastered (in this sense) the bottom deal in my opinion. [/quote]

No, I don't agree with that at all!

This to me is little more than ad copy puffery designed to intrigue those who are attempting to learn this material and used as an inducement to buy a book, video product or lecture. First of all, it is subjective, anecdotal, objectively unverifiable and basically hearsay or magician/demo/show biz talk. "Two dozen people in the world?" Please, how could anyone objectively know that? It implies knowing and being in contact with all the best bottom dealers on the planet. As I said, it reads like ad copy to promote a product or to bolster a person's reputation as an all-knowing expert. No one I know who has been there would say something like that. To me this is would only be believable to those who have no real-world experience in card table hustling as they have nothing to compare the statement to.

Secondly the objective test I would use, and the test that [i]any[/i] pro hustler would use is not how good something looks on video, although that would be consideration as [i]part[/i] of the TOTAL criteria being weighed, but only a part. The real test is [i]can you and do you get the money with this. [/i] That knocks out all the BS. It takes into consideration a myriad of critical additional factors; not just how good something looks on video with no serious adverse consequence of being caught.

Since you and I look at these things through a different prism, we cannot ever agree since the starting point of our analysis is 100 degrees apart. Being able to get the money is objective criteria. [i]Either you can or you can't in specific instances...and that is verifiable[/i].

Being able to do a bottom deal, even a superb bottom deal so perfectly that only "2 dozen people" on the planet can do it without objectively verifying its efficacy and success in tough money games over time is akin to the concept of the mythical center dealer who beats all "challengers" or the "phantom of the card table" who can never be caught.

It is puffery and insults one's intelligence. It is without objective substantiation and no rational person could possibly agree with the statement as posed. However, it works with those who have never been there since they have nothing to compare it to.

Better we discuss "How many angels can dance on the head of a pin." :)
Message: Posted by: JasonEngland (Nov 13, 2018 01:20PM)
Cag,

I have no idea why you brought up all that other stuff. This has been (and will continue to be) an argument over your using the word "mastery" in two different ways, and yet trying to somehow draw conclusions from that.

I don't know if you know this or not, but that's an entire category of informal logical fallacy, known as equivocation.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Equivocation

Had you simply said, "mastering paper is harder than being able to do a half-ass bottom deal" no one would've noticed. But when you use the same word in 2 different ways without clarifying that you're doing so, you get problems. Now that you've clarified your previous fallacy-ridden stance, we no longer disagree.

Jason
Message: Posted by: Cagliostro (Nov 13, 2018 04:44PM)
[quote]On Nov 13, 2018, JasonEngland wrote:

...Had you simply said, "mastering paper is harder than being able to do a half-ass bottom deal" no one would've noticed... [/quote]

Okay. If that is your understanding of what I wrote at length, well...if it works for you, then it works for me. :)
Message: Posted by: 252life (Nov 21, 2018 11:46AM)
Jason lives in a world of skill, knowledge, proof, ability, sharing, humility, and intellect.
And then there’s others that can’t use the cool terminology enough.

I’d write more but I have to go “get the money” as they say lol


It’s good to have a healthy imagination though.
Message: Posted by: Cagliostro (Feb 19, 2019 02:58PM)
[quote]On Nov 13, 2018, JasonEngland wrote:
Cag,

...This has been (and will continue to be) an argument over your using the word "mastery" in two different ways, and yet trying to somehow draw conclusions from that...

Had you simply said, "mastering paper is harder than being able to do a half-ass bottom deal" no one would've noticed. But when you use the same word in 2 different ways without clarifying that you're doing so, you get problems...
Jason [/quote]

Fair enough. Sarcastic --- but fair. The problem I have is I write from the perspective that the purpose of cheating moves and ploys is to get the money in gambling situations, not to perform exposes of "How Gamblers Win" or gambling themed magic tricks. I originally was not going to comment on this post, but after receiving some PMs to clarify I decided to reply.

Sometimes I lose sight of the fact that many if not most members on this BB are primarily interested in learning basic manipulative moves from an academic perspective and showing them for performance or discussion purposes. Unfortunately, I often assume too much actual real-world gambling experience, understanding and knowledge on the part of others. So, for the benefit of those few who may be interested in real world application and for those whom this may be somewhat helpful, I will clarify that which I incorrectly assumed others should know and something, quite frankly, most decent hustlers would understand immediately.

To start, for our purposes the word "mastery" simply means: "comprehensive skill or knowledge in a subject or accomplishment."

Now here is where the confusion seems to exist: There are also [i]two[/i] levels of mastery when discussing card table chicanery on this BB which are related but quite [i]different[/i].

There is the solely technical - demonstration level of mastery (which the vast majority of non-hustling card table enthusiasts are learning and performing. This is the type mastery which is touted and sold by academic experts, gurus and teachers and the type mastery that is understood and learned by 99%+ of card table demo practitioners.

The second level of mastery is the [i]application[/i] of manipulative moves and/or other cheating techniques and methods [i]under game conditions[/i], which few in the demo community truly understand or even bother to consider. It is usually outside their actual experience and/or of no relevance since what they do are doing are gambling type demonstrations and magic related presentations.

I almost always use the second definition of mastery given above in my posts and discussions, that is to say, the use of such methods under fire.

That these two levels of mastery are [i]not[/i] the same or even equal appears apparently not well understood to many demonstrators, card table manipulative adepts, gurus and academic gambling experts. They may think they understand but apparently don't in most cases.

So to clarify, one can have mastery of a card table move (or ploy) in [i]singularity[/i], in and of itself, (a demo move), and one can have mastery of a card table move in [i]totality[/i], in conjunction with all the [i]critically related[/i] aspects of its execution and application in use under fire. Two [i]related[/i] levels of mastery but not the same, [i]or even equal[/i] although apparently many may believe they are.

Mastery of a demo move (say a bottom deal for example), is to have it look as deceptive as possible, that is to say, lack of finger flash, dealing smoothness, sight and sound similarity in the dealing of both top and bottom cards, [i]moderate[/i] dealing rhythm, good workable technique, naturalness of execution and so forth in order to make the move look and sound as natural and deceptive as possible under scrutiny, either during a live spectator performance or on video. That is the standard that one should look to achieve for a demonstration move.

Mastery of application includes [i]all[/i] of the above requirements for excellent technical mastery of a bottom deal but [i]in addition and more importantly[/i] incorporates many other [i]critically necessary[/i] considerations of deceptive application under live gaming conditions - which is different and much more involved that doing a demo.

For example, this can include [i]for professional play[/i] a myriad of factors, [i]some[/i] of which might be: what game are we playing and what are the rules and game format, where is the game located, is it in a professional or amateur setting, what is the physical location of the table in the gaming environment, are there bystanders observing the play and where are they observing from, are there any cameras, what are the stakes, how many players are in the game, how many if any are experienced and /or knowledgeable, are we taking off one player or several players, is this a single-o play or are we using partners in the game and if so, how will they be utilized?

Further, what type cards are being used, (paper, plastic, bridged sized, poker sized, white border, all over design), what is the condition of the cards, is it necessary to hop the cut or use a partner on the cut to bring desired bottom cards into play, how will this be done, is it better just to peek the bottom cards and use that information for dealing bottoms or should select cards be on the bottom prior to the deal, what are the best denomination cards to cull for the play in question and how will they be culled, are the partners, if any, trained to assist on the culling, how are the discards handled, is it better to deal known cards to the suckers or just potential winning cards to the partners, should a bottom deal double duke approach be applied?

Moreover, are there chip stacks on the table and will the pace of the dealing have to be modified to account for this to deal over or around these stacks, is there a cut card in use and if so, how will one get around that, how often will you be able to deal bottoms and when, and on and on and on...? PLUS...EXTREMELY IMPORTANTLY, THROW IN A GOOD DOSE OF GRIFT SENSE, especially if the game is tough.

And all of that is just for a [i]simple[/i] bottom deal. What do you thing one would have to consider for more involved or sophisticated plays, especially in a casino environment?

Of course, all of these elements would not be considered every time for a simple bottom deal. Sometimes many of them would be, at other times perhaps just a few or even none would be applicable. It depends of the situation and conditions under consideration. I am just showing what other factors [i]could[/i] be involved.

Okay...I think everyone gets the idea.

Oftentimes the move itself has to be modified, [i]sometimes considerably so[/i], to account for one or more of these additional factors under live game conditions and therein lies the confusion as to the different types of mastery.

As any reasonably astute person can see it takes additional and different skills, ability, know-how and courage to not only get a move on undetectably, but further and even more importantly, [i] to actually get the money with the move, [/i] especially in tough games, certainly much more so then simply doing make-believe demos. Keep in mind, getting the money is [i]is different, and considerably more difficult[/i] that simply getting a move on deceptively under fire...and I might suggest that maybe it might be is a little more involved than just "dealing a half-ass bottom" as has been suggested.

Hopefully this clarifies my use of the concept of mastery and perhaps helpful to some members of this board.

Sorry for any confusion that I may have caused.
Message: Posted by: tommy (Feb 19, 2019 07:08PM)
One cannot normally use a bottom deal in a poker game worth the light because of the procedures, not least of which is either a cut card or a table deal is used in such games. I have not seen a soft amateur poker game worth the light and no hustler who values his reputation is going risk it in penny-ante games. There are exceptions and my only experience using a bottom deal was in a steer game set up at a billiard hall by the hustlers there. The game was soft by design. It was worth the light because the couple of marks it was set up for were millionaires. The marks were businessmen, fish, as opposed experienced gamblers. The game was strip deck draw, no cut card, hand dealt I was the croupier and dealt bottoms to boys on the draw. In the past, there certainly were soft high stakes poker games going on in the USA by all accounts of Texas oil boy games and so on but not here, in my experience. It seems to me the bottom is a thing of bygone days more or less. One might use a bottom is some self-side games perhaps.
Message: Posted by: Cagliostro (Feb 20, 2019 10:33AM)
[quote]On Feb 19, 2019, tommy wrote:

One cannot normally use a bottom deal in a poker game worth the light because of the procedures, not least of which is either a cut card or a table deal is used in such games. I have not seen a soft amateur poker game worth the light and no hustler who values his reputation is going risk it in penny-ante games...It seems to me the bottom is a thing of bygone days more or less. [/quote]

I agree with tommy's observation regarding the bottom deal. It reflects the understanding of someone who is around live gambling.

For the sake of discussion and to make my post understandable to most, the bottom deal was used because the thread was about the bottom deal and because most BB members are familiar with this move. The purpose of the explanation was to show how a pro hustler would have to think when using just about any ploy. Using a more sophisticated example for discussion would have been inappropriate IMO.

Aside from that, the bottom deal actually was not the best choice. The reason being is the bottom deal is severely dated, probably one of the least practical moves one could attempt to use [i]under fire[/i] in modern day game conditions and in my opinion [i]never[/i] was a very sophisticated method of getting the money. Even Maskelyne in [b]Sharps and Flats[/b] stated it was used by the lower-class sharps back in the late 1890s and these guys always got caught in the long run. Further, virtually everyone on the planet has heard about dealing cards from the bottom, even half-naked primitives in the deepest and darkest bowels of the African jungle, so the move is no great secret.

However, because the bottom deal it is so well known, with an almost romantically-sinister reputation, it is an [i]ideal demo move [/i] in my opinion...perhaps even better when using a grotesque-looking grip like the Erdnase. It is the darling of many in the demo crowd and any good demonstrator would have to be able to perform the move if requested by his audience.

But once again, it is not a very good move under fire in [i]today's[/i] gambling world even if executed superbly well. For the most part it is confined to amateur and relatively easy to beat games, generally speaking of course. I'm sure one could always find a rare exception here or there.

Further, I'm sure there is a story of a professional bottom deal cheater who travelled the world, used the move for 40 years, made millions of dollars with it and never was caught. Well...only I would believe a story like that but only if someone wrote a book this superb bottom dealer's exploits.
Message: Posted by: alexandreventura (Mar 2, 2019 12:05AM)
I studied card magic for months and months before discovering what a bottom deal was. I saw gambling demos all the time, and thought the aces were stacked in the deck. If they can fool a new magician, they can fool laypeople, absolutely. I also didn't know it was possible for someone to be this irrationally mad about a magic move, but judging from all the posts in this forum from Cagliostro, I was proved wrong.
Message: Posted by: Cagliostro (Mar 2, 2019 12:39PM)
[quote]On Mar 1, 2019, alexandreventura wrote:

I studied card magic for months and months before discovering what a bottom deal was. I saw gambling demos all the time, and thought the aces were stacked in the deck. If they can fool a new magician, they can fool laypeople, absolutely. I also didn't know it was possible for someone to be this irrationally mad about a magic move, but judging from all the posts in this forum from Cagliostro, I was proved wrong. [/quote]

Interesting perspective and certainly one way to look at things. :)

We give our opinions in large part based upon our prior experience, our knowledge and understanding of the subject matter and hopefully our ability to impart ideas that are not part of mainstream or common perceptions. That being said, my posts in general are not meant for most, but primarily to be helpful to the few who are interested in a different perspective. As such they would probably be unpopular, threatening or annoying to some.

Since our opinions are but a reflection of such background and base of knowledge upon which we perceive and make determinations, it follows that others might reach different conclusions.
Message: Posted by: landmark (Mar 2, 2019 03:40PM)
If this comment is considered off-topic, I apologize.

As a non-gambler I always assumed that the main way cheaters got caught was not so much by being caught doing the move, but being caught betting in a pattern that seemed slightly askew. Is that true, or not really a consideration?

Thanks for the interesting discussion.
Message: Posted by: tommy (Mar 2, 2019 05:49PM)
Well, I would say yes and no: Suspicious betting patterns can lead to players being watched and this in turn can bring to light a method. Sometimes in a casino, a player will report his suspicions to the manager and he can then get surveillance staff to take a look at the film and so on. Suspicious betting patterns are what they say. Mere suspicion does not amount to evidence that can prove anything.
Message: Posted by: Cagliostro (Mar 3, 2019 12:48PM)
[quote]On Mar 2, 2019, landmark wrote:

As a non-gambler I always assumed that the main way cheaters got caught was not so much by being caught doing the move, but being caught betting in a pattern that seemed slightly askew. Is that true, or not really a consideration?
[/quote]

It is usually not so simple.

There are a number of areas in which a cheater can be detected or at least suspected of cheating, which can be almost as bad. Betting patterns certainly can lead to suspicion, especially if the cards are marked or the cheats are playing collusion and doing so poorly. However, for an actual move, a bottom deal in this instance, suspicion and detection usually occur in a different manner.

Obviously if the bottom deal is poorly executed, that in itself my lead to detection. However, there are usually better ways to eventually detect a bottom deal, or any manipulative move, in play. If a move is performed well, detection usually starts with suspicion that something is not quite right.

There are a number of areas which can lead to this suspicion. Keep in mind being able to fool someone with a bottom deal in a casual setting is not the same as getting the money with the move. It is not even a close call. If someone handles the cards too skillfully compared to the other players, that can create suspicion. The "not normal" grip of some bottom deals or the skillful or adroit dealing of the cards can also create suspicion. Then again there are allied moves that must be incorporated to make the bottom deal work. The desired cards have to be culled in some manner, the cut must be nullified, a partner may have to do a false cut and so on. These allied area of making the move work are where suspicion most likely will occur. Once suspected, then it is usually just a matter of time before detection occurs, which is why a pro will back off if he feels even slight suspicion or if he is under exceptionally close observation. Of course, receiving too many good hands can lead to closer observation and so on which can eventually lead to being "caught."

Oh, I think I should mention this. When using a beautiful bottom deal in a tough game, a game where you could be severely hurt if detected, unless you have a lot of experience under those conditions, for some strange reason your fingers will not work the way they usually work when practicing on the kitchen table. The cards won't seem to feel the same and dealing the bottom card, and perhaps even the top cards won't come so easily. That additional tension and associated nervousness can lead to your beautiful bottom deal becoming botched under fire...botched just enough to cause detection.

"Stuff" happens under fire, often when you least expect it or at the most inopportune or "unfortunate" moment.
Message: Posted by: alexandreventura (Mar 5, 2019 10:42PM)
Can I propose a fun bet to Cagliostro?

Let's assume you take your lifesavings, what is the percentage you would be willing to bet that you could spot the exact hand someone like Jason England has dealt, let's say, 2 cards with a bottom deal?

The conditions are simple, let's say it's a casino table with some background noise and you are sited exactly in front of the dealer.

Jason would deal a random hand from the bottom, 2 cards. If your lifesavings are 100%, what % would you be willing to bet? Would it be 51, 1, or 99?
Message: Posted by: tommy (Mar 5, 2019 11:03PM)
Let's assume you are the croupier and let us ask you how are you going to deal bottoms when there is a cut card on the bottom?
Message: Posted by: tommy (Mar 6, 2019 08:08AM)
I once picked up a deck in a side game and instinctively knew it was short a card or two, which lead to a fellow getting nailed holding out. Professional poker dealers discreetly count the stub by spreading it to know if the deck is short. That is another way a move can come on top without the move being seen.
Message: Posted by: Peterson (Mar 6, 2019 10:25AM)
"which lead to a fellow getting nailed holding out"

Can you provide more details to this particular event? Sounds interesting.
Message: Posted by: Cagliostro (Mar 6, 2019 12:16PM)
[quote]On Mar 5, 2019, alexandreventura wrote:

Can I propose a fun bet to Cagliostro?

Let's assume you take your lifesavings, what is the percentage you would be willing to bet that you could spot the exact hand someone like Jason England has dealt, let's say, 2 cards with a bottom deal?

The conditions are simple, let's say it's a casino table with some background noise and you are sited exactly in front of the dealer.

Jason would deal a random hand from the bottom, 2 cards. If your lifesavings are 100%, what % would you be willing to bet? Would it be 51, 1, or 99? [/quote]
I don't mean to be impolite so don't take this the wrong way. I'm sure you are great guy and a serious student, but...

I do believe you [i]may[/i] have missed the point of my previously posts entirely. You are still thinking like a magician, albeit in fun, and you are topping it off with a little hero/guru worship. :)

That is okay and I enjoyed your post, but you may want to go back and figure out why I say you may have missed the point of my previous posts. :confused:

PLUS, and most importantly, I'm very easy to fool with demo moves. ;)

However in a serious game...well..I am even easier to fool. :rolleyes:
Message: Posted by: tommy (Mar 7, 2019 02:41PM)
Well, it was a long time ago but as I recall, four of us had been playing this side game for some time, when I picked up the deck to deal and said: “This deck feels light.” I then spread the cards and we saw there were at least a couple of Aces missing. Now the player on my left figured it was not me and he also knew it was not him who had the missing cards. He stood up and he said “We are all going to search each other!” he told the fellow on his left to get up but that fellow did not move but after a moment he gave up the cards.
Message: Posted by: Peterson (Mar 8, 2019 12:54AM)
"at least a couple of Aces missing"

Interesting. A lot of people, and especially Giorgio, said that holding out 1 card is the reasonable limit. Maybe the fellow in your story would not get caught if he were to follow that rule.
Message: Posted by: tommy (Mar 8, 2019 12:30PM)
He should have ditched the cards under the table but he was not a full shilling. The question then arose as to punishment. He sat there silently awaiting his fate, while the three of us calmly debated what we were going to do to him. We were only kidding and let him off and he swore that he would never be caught cheating again. :)
Message: Posted by: Cagliostro (Mar 8, 2019 03:33PM)
[quote]On Mar 7, 2019, Peterson wrote:

A lot of people, and especially Giorgio, said that holding out 1 card is the reasonable limit. [/quote]

That is a good rule to follow. Further, if a shuffle machine is in use, or the dealer is frequently counting down the deck stub, one has to bring in an extra card, say an inconspicuous one like the 2 of clubs, to substitute for the card being held out.

Of course, eventually the duplicate card will be detected and the question will then be, who is responsible? Usually they will just change the deck. If a camera is used above the game, they may be able to back it up and determine who did the dirty work.

[quote]On Mar 8, 2019, tommy wrote:

He should have ditched the cards under the table... [/quote]

Of course. There is usually plenty of time to do this if the stub is being counted down or someone notices the deck feels light. To pitch a card under the table, away from you and near another player's feet, is quite easy to do.

My only question is, what does this have to do with the bottom deal?
Message: Posted by: tommy (Mar 8, 2019 07:32PM)
Once upon a time in the West, one would cop the Aces off the bottom for the cut, after the cut put them back and then do a bottom deal.
Message: Posted by: Cagliostro (Mar 9, 2019 10:58AM)
Oh, I see what is being said here. You palm the desirable cards needed off the bottom of the deck, have the cards cut and then add them back to the bottom so you can now bottom deal these desirable cards. This way you don't have to force or hop the cut. Clever stuff...Who'd of thought?

Say, that even works with a cut card. Let's see...palm the cards needed off the bottom, have the deck cut onto the tabled cut card and then add the cards needed [i]under[/i] the cut card on the square-up. Now you can deal bottoms to yourself or your partner and after you have done so, the cut card is once again back on the bottom of the deck. This way the cut card is no longer a hindrance to the bottom deal.

Quite frankly, this new innovative way of overcoming the cut card that I have just developed off the top of my head actually smacks of brilliance if I must say so myself. In fact, I am tempted to give a lecture on this concept at the next Gambling Protection Seminar held in Vegas. I sure this methodology will draw packed crowds and as an added bonus, I may get the highly coveted title of "Gambling Expert." Wow, this gets better all the time.

Now all we need is a name for this technique. How about "mucking for the cut?" No, no. That's not quite right. Let's try "copping cards for the cut?" No, that does not sound right either. Oh, I know, how about "holding out for the cut?" Now, THAT I like.

"Holding out for the cut" Yup...has a certain ring to it and the kind of terminology a really accomplished high line hustler/bottom dealer would use.

Hope this accomplishment doesn't go to my head. I'm starting to feel a little like a card table guru. :rolleyes:
Message: Posted by: tommy (Mar 9, 2019 12:51PM)
I am surprised that a man of your caliber did not think of it before you said: “My only question is, what does this have to do with the bottom deal?”
Message: Posted by: Cagliostro (Mar 9, 2019 02:45PM)
[quote]On Mar 9, 2019, tommy wrote:

I am surprised that a man of your caliber did not think of it before you said: “My only question is, what does this have to do with the bottom deal?” [/quote]

You are right. I think it may have been a senior moment on my part. Seems like I am having more and more of those moments...in fact people are starting to look at me strangely after talking with me.

I asked the admin to eliminate that statement from my post, but he wrote back, "Sorry Cag. You wrote it, you live with it."

Seems like some guys have no compassion.

(Please note I am playing the victim here. In our new era of political correctness coupled with identity politics in the US, playing the victim is the new "in" thing.)